Tag Archives: Barron’s

Dow Jones revenue up 5 percent through three quarters

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Les Hinton, the chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co., sent the following message to employees of the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday afternoon:

We enter this final fiscal quarter of 2011 with many accomplishments to our collective credit.

We continue to bring to the market new products that demonstrate not only the value of quality content but the capacity of Dow Jones to harness technology to the benefit of readers and customers.

Factiva is more intuitive, global, mobile and an indispensible engine of business awareness and intelligence. DJ FX Trader is still new and already yielding essential and valuable insights into the foreign-exchange market. Its utility was endorsed the best possible way when some of the world’s biggest banks were among the first to sign on. We are a leader among publishers on the tablet-computer platform, creating a new and dynamic experience for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Dow Jones Investment Banker and soon Factiva too.

Our journalism continues to inform and enlighten audiences around the globe in a time of great tumult. We are grateful for the efforts and the courage of those who have performed with excellence amidst the devastation in Japan and through change and uncertainty in the Middle East.

Our progress is measurable. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2011, Dow Jones revenue increased 5%. That figure includes strong results from the Journal’s U.S. print edition (ad revenue up 7%, circulation revenue up almost 8%) and its digital editions (ad revenue up 19%, circulation revenue up 22%). Our business-to-business operations, by the third quarter, were showing new strength after the extended impact of the financial crisis.

Ours is an uncommon story in the news business. The Journal’s total ad revenue rose 2.6% in the fiscal third quarter, our sixth consecutive quarter of growth. At the New York Times, news group ad revenue fell 3.7% in the same quarter. Where the Journal’s total circulation revenue improved 8% in the quarter ended March, circulation revenue at the Times fell by 3.7%. The print Journal alone has recorded 17 consecutive quarters of circulation-revenue growth, including nearly 6% in the third quarter, as we broadened and improved it. What other newspaper can tell that story?

We achieved this growth with compelling ideas and with business discipline. The fact that we’re already counting many millions in incremental subscription and advertising dollars from our products on tablet computers says a lot about our ability to seize the opportunities of new technology.

To make sure we can carry on building on our successes, we must continue to manage both investment and expense aggressively. I want to thank you all for your contributions.

Dow Jones CEO touts strong second quarter

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Dow Jones & Co. CEO Les Hinton sent out the following e-mail to the company’s employees on Thursday:

Dow Jones fiscal second-quarter results again showed profits and progress as we build a modern model for the news and information business.

Within News Corp.’s second-quarter results yesterday were some encouraging numbers from Dow Jones. Total revenue rose 7% in the three months ended Dec. 31. Circulation revenue jumped nearly 14% companywide, and advertising revenue rose 10%.

It was the fifth consecutive quarter of increasing ad revenue for The Wall Street Journal. Barron’s, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal Asia also posted sharp increases in ad revenue. Our enterprise businesses appear to have turned a corner in the quarter, and we are seeing a more favorable trend there.

We continue to invest in our products, particularly those aimed at enterprise customers. Dow Jones FX Trader launched this week. It represents a major opportunity to extend our share of the huge market for foreign-exchange information and to build our Financial Markets business.

This is another important initiative for Dow Jones, which has been growing by investing in content. Greater New York, WSJ Weekend and other initiatives have demonstrated we can turn quality content into business success. DJ FX Trader is an investment in content and technology too. It is a cross-company collaboration on news, technology and business. It brings together the news from The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires with advanced technology from Dow Jones Financial Markets. It leverages the expertise of many people and many products to create something exceptional and new.

We had many accomplishments in the quarter. If this abbreviated list isn’t comprehensive, it is nonetheless representative:

  • The Journal again held its position as the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S.
  • WSJ. Magazine announced it will publish more frequently, going from six issues in 2010, to nine in 2011 to 10 in 2012.
  • Journal editions in Europe and Asia expanded their lifestyle content and launched iPad apps.
  • In Hong Kong, the Journal launched a section specific to that thriving metropolis. In Japan, thousands downloaded the Journal’s Japanese-language iPhone app  when it debuted there.
  • The Journal app for Android debuted to much praise. PC Magazine said: “There is currently one good app for Android tablets. It is the new Wall Street Journal app, and it’s just beautiful…”
  • Wall Street Journal Professional Edition announced a custom version tailored for senior financial executives. WSJ Pro received a Codie award this month for best news service. The Codie is a peer-recognition award and among the most prestigious in the software industry.
  • At the Local Media Group, a shift to paid online access is driving increases in circulation revenue. All LMG papers now charge for their digital editions, and the results are exceeding expectations.
  • In Princeton, we turned the switch on the first of two parts to our solar-power system. We now are generating power from 2.5 megawatts of what later this year will be a 4.1 megawatt system, one of the biggest such corporate sites in the U.S.

We want to continue this progress. We want to continue investing in the future by investing in content and technology and in the vitality and relevance of brands ranging from the Journal to Factiva, VentureSource, Watchlist and more.

The media business moves at digital speed now. At that rate, the future comes faster every day. So we must be restless in pursuit of tomorrow’s readers and customers. We must be relentless in competition for screen space, eyeballs and advertisers. And we must be as diligent in managing our costs as we are in choosing our investments and thus our future.

Thanks to everyone for a successful quarter. These results show what a great company and great colleagues are capable of.

Barron's launches iPad app

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Barron’s now has an iPad application that is free to download and costs $2.99 a week for the latest issue. Current print subscribers receive it for free.

Tiernan Ray of Barron’s writes, “Like its Wall Street Journal sibling, the Barron’s iPad edition is a convincing digital simulacrum of the print version, and contains a splash/home screen that will also hold onto the last six issues of the paper. You can also save articles for reading later.

“The app is free to download, and then costs $2.99 per week, which gives you full access to this Web site, as well. A pittance, I should think, for all that rich content!

“There are some pieces from Barrons.com on the iPad edition, including the Weekday Trader, the Barron’s Take, The Striking Price, and Getting Technical, though there is no content from Tech Trader Daily on the piece, at least not yet; For that, you’ll have to come back here regularly.”

Read more here.

From Barron's to Forbes

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Eric Savitz, who left Barron’s to cover technology for Forbes as its San Francisco bureau chief, writes about the change.

Savitz writes, “For more than four years, I blogged like a wild man, writing the Tech Trader Daily blog for Barron’s. In the process, I posted close to 20,000 times, which is a little ridiculous, really. I was addicted to all things tech, covering product news, mergers, rumors, earnings reports, analyst recommendations, conferences, and assorted other Valley miscellany about every aspect of tech – hardware, software, Internet, mobility, telecom, media, you name it. And make no mistake: my addiction remains.

“But one big thing has changed:  a few weeks ago, I agreed to take my show to Forbes. As the magazine’s new bureau chief in San Francisco, I’ll help shape our coverage of technology both online and in print. (Suggestions welcome, by the way!) I’ll write stories for the magazine. And (duh!) I’m starting a new blog, which I’m calling Tech Musings. I’ll use this blog to provide news, commentary and analysis on the tech sector from Silicon Valley and beyond. Basically, I’ll continue to do some of the things I did at Tech Trader Daily – tracking the daily developments of the most dynamic part of the global economy. If you never had a chance to see my old blog – or even if you did – you can get some idea on what I have in mind from some of the recent posts on the beta version of Tech Musings, which I’ve been writing for a week or so on the free blogging platform Posterous. You can also keep tabs on my thinking at twitter.com/savitz.

“Stay tuned. I can’t wait to get started. See you Monday.”

Read more here.

Savitz leaving Barron's for Forbes

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Forbes Media announced Monday that Eric J. Savitz will be coming to Forbes as the new San Francisco bureau chief, effective Dec. 6.

Savitz will lead editorial operations for the San Francisco office while writing regularly for the Forbes web site and magazine.

“As Forbes continues to embrace the social media landscape, we are very excited to welcome aboard someone of Eric’s caliber and experience to lead the editorial coverage out of Silicon Valley,” said Lewis Dvorkin, chief product officer, in a statement.  “He possesses the perfect blend of expertise needed for this position, having covered technology and finance — both online and offline — from the West coast for more than fifteen years,”

Savitz joins Forbes from Barron’s, where he covered technology from the Palo Alto bureau since 2001, in addition to working at Barron’s and Dow Jones from 1988 to 1998.

During his more recent tenure at Barron’s, Eric wrote the monthly Tech File column for Smart Money magazine from 2004-2006; launched Tech Trader Daily, a popular blog providing news, analysis and insights on technology investing, in 2005; and took over the weekly Technology Trader column in 2006, while continuing to write his own blog.

During his first stint, Savitz opened the Palo Alto bureau in 1998, wrote the Fund of Information column about mutual funds, and launched Plugged In, a weekly column about tech investing.  Savitz also served as a copy editor at Dow Jones News Service, as well as a reporter for Dow Jones Professional Investor Report, a news service that tracked hot stocks.

In addition, Savitz served as executive editor of The Industry Standard, a San Francisco-based magazine covering the Internet economy from 1998 to 2001.

Dow Jones CEO bullish on prospects

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Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires, sent the following e-mail to the company staff on the wake of its recent performance:

First-quarter results confirm the wisdom of investing in our products and services to provide more value to readers and customers and to drive growth.

In a fiscal quarter in which News Corp.’s earnings were very good, Dow Jones contributed a 9.5% increase in revenue in what is historically a weak three months for the company.

You know already many of the components of success. Ad revenue companywide was up 24% in the period from July through September. Circulation revenue for the entire company was 14% higher. The Wall Street Journal and its international editions were among the drivers. Barron’s showed continued strength. Our digital products paced the advance. Growing circulation and advertising revenue from iPads, e-readers and smartphones offer promise for the future.

Among enterprise products, we were able to increase customer retention even as we felt some declines in the quarter. That was expected given our investment in new and existing services as well as a sales cycle timed around long-term contracts. It’s the long term we’re focused on. We are investing now in our portfolio of Corporate and Financial Markets products – including Factiva, Newswires, Risk & Compliance, Investment Banker and Consultant – to facilitate long-term relationships and commitments and to drive growth.

The quarter included another big product expansion with WSJ Weekend in September. WSJ Weekend and Greater New York, another major expansion in calendar 2010, already have attracted more than 70 new advertisers to the Journal franchise. These are on top of the 88 new advertisers who have used our luxury magazine WSJ. since its launch to reach our affluent and influential readers. Based on that success we will be publishing WSJ. more frequently in 2011.

We are investing in our products and our audiences globally as well as locally. We added European and Asian editions to the Journal’s iPad app.  We introduced Chinese and Japanese language WSJ iPhone apps to accelerate our efforts to pursue local audiences around the world.  Some of our Local Media Group newspapers have begun charging for online access, and we’re pleased with the early results.

Internally, we haven’t relented in our quest to make our systems and processes the best in the business. MarketWatch journalists joined the Journal and Barron’s on the Methode publishing system. This put our three biggest consumer products on a common publishing system, allowing us to address our readers more precisely.  Important projects under way from Finance to IT to HR are designed to make us a smarter, more nimble organization. We’re making customer service a priority and asking employees to contribute ideas to improve the customer experience. That initiative is called Customer 1st , and it recognizes that each of us is responsible for building loyalty reader by reader and client by client.

This economic environment makes it difficult to see too far ahead, so it’s impossible to predict the next year or even the next quarter. But we know what we’ve done, which is prove you can be a success in the newspaper business by selling trusted, authoritative and compelling content in print and on digital devices – and sometimes to the same readers.

Some with circulation half of ours prefer to dismiss our success with mistaken accusations about the Journal selling ads at a discount. The truth is our growing advertising revenue isn’t the result of discounting, and our competitors know that as well as we do. Advertisers are ready to pay a premium for space in the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S.  Our product is ever more attractive to readers and advertisers both.

This was a good quarter. The economy remains unsteady, but let us hope this next quarter will be good too. Thank you for the performance you helped make possible and for the even better performance you are making possible now.

Outside the Barron's office

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Here is a nice display of Barron’s covers outside of its offices in New York. The picture was taken during a tour of the Dow Jones & Co. news operations on Friday morning.

The cream of the crop

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The Daily Beast has a slide show Monday of the top “economic and business commentators” in the United States.

Here is the list, with some of the comments:

15. Felix Salmon from Reuters. “Most statistically dexterous journalist.”

14. Alan Abelson from Barron’s. “Astute and unvarnished.”

13. Barry Ritholtz from The Big Picture.

12. Holman Jenkins Jr. from The Wall Street Journal.

11. Amity Shlaes from Bloomberg News.

10. Charles Gasparino from Fox Business Network. “Best business reporter on TV.”

9. Caroline Baum from Bloomberg News.

8. Gretchen Morgenson from the New York Times.

7. James B. Stewart from SmartMoney. “Most levelheaded and dependable.”

6. Michael Lewis from Vanity Fair.

5. David Leonhardt from the New York Times. “agenda-setter.”

4. David Wessel from The Wall Street Journal.

3. Paul Krugman from the New York Times.

2. Martin Wolf from The Financial Times. “Professorial” and “magesterial.”

1. James Grant from Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

The fast-food nature of business journalism

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Yvette Kantrow, the executive editor of The Deal, writes about the ramifications of a recent ad from Barron’s looking for a financial journalist to write 80 to 100 items per week about the fund industry.

Kantrow writes, “That’s right. Eighty. To 100. Items. A week. Or 16 to 20 items a day. Or at least two an hour. And not just any blog items, no sirree Bob! These pearls of wisdom must include ‘actionable investing ideas’ — aka the kind of insights that can make readers moolah. And one more thing: They should not just focus on the U.S. market, either. Get global.

“That’s right, this Barron’s blogger has to write about all world markets all the time, and is ‘expected to blog when major news breaks, regardless of when that happens.’ As Oliver Stone might put it, ‘Money Never Sleeps.’ And neither, apparently, can this sure-to-be-beleaguered Barron’s staffer.

“Given the state of the job market in general, and the journalism market in particular, I have no doubt that Barron’s (Barron’s!) is getting a huge response to this ad, which ran on Gorkana’s U.S. Journalist Job Alert. But really: Is there anyone out there — journalist, blogger, hedge funder, candlestick maker — who can actually produce 80 to 100 items a week that are not just worth reading (or even merely readable) but ‘actionable’? And if there is, why would such an investor-savant be slaving away for Barron’s, instead of, say, putting those ideas into action for him- or herself? Or at least hosting ‘Mad Money’ on CNBC?”

Read more here.

Biz magazines outperform industry in second quarter

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The 14 business magazines published in the United States outperformed the overall magazine industry in the second quarter in terms of advertising revenue and ad pages.

The financial and business magazines reported ad revenue of $328.1 million in the second three months of the year, up 11.3 percent from the same quarter in 2009. In comparison, the overall industry was up 5.7 percent.

In terms of ad pages, the business titles reported an 8.3 percent to 3359.42 pages, while the overall industry was up 0.3 percent, according to data published Monday from the Publishers Information Bureau and analyzed by Talking Biz News.

The comparison data excludes Fortune SmallBusiness and Conde Nast Portfolio, both of which were published in the second quarter of 2009.

The best performer among the business titles was Time Inc. personal finance glossy Money, which reported a 37.5 percent rise in ad revenue to $34.2 million and a 32.3 percent jump in ad pages to 164.77.

Another strong performer was Wired. The Conde Nast tech-related magazine reported ad revenue of $19.6 million, up 37.7 percent, and ad pages of 200.13, up 26.2 percent, for the quarter.

Dow Jones & Co. title Barron’s also performed well, reporting a 32.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $15.5 million and a 26.5 percent increase in ad pages to 335.52.

Among the large business titles, Bloomberg Businessweek performed the best, with an 11.2 percent increase in ad revenue for the quarter, to $48.8 million, and a 10 percent increase in ad pages to 365.01.

Forbes was the only business title with a decline in ad revenue — down 1.7 percent to $61.9 million — for the quarter. Forbes, Fortune and the Economist reported declines in ad pages.